Composed by
Ari Pulkkinen

 

Published by
Frozenbyte (2009)

 

Tracklistings

1) Astral Academy
2) Academy Hallways
3) Wolvercote Catacombs
4) Dragon Graveyard
5) Crystal Caverns
6) Crypt of the Damned
7) Forsaken Dungeons
8) Throne of the Lost King
9) Fangle Forest
10) Shadowthorne Thicket
11) Ruins of the Perished
12) Waltz of the Perished
13) Heartland Mines
14) Bramblestoke Village
15) Iron Forge
16) Tower of Sarek
17) Trine Main Theme
18) Trine Trailer Theme
19) Bonus Track: Trine Theme Trailer 2008
20) Bonus Track: Trine Theme Original 2008

 

Extras
- Game website
- Composer website
- Interview

 

Availability
- Composer website

 

Review by
Oliver Ittensohn

Trine

Trine is a physics-based action game set in a fantastic, medieval world. The player takes control of a total of three characters: a thief, a knight and a wizard. Each of them has its own unique abilities and tactics and it’s up to the player to make clever use of them in order to overcome threatening foes and mind-boggling physic puzzles, and ultimately save the kingdom. The game’s greatest strength surely lies in its stylised and unabashedly gorgeous visuals mixed with the intriguing gameplay elements of puzzle solving and discovery: an enjoyable combination which brought Trine positive reviews across the board.

When it comes to music, developer Frozenbyte didn’t have to look very far. Ari Pulkkinen, their in-house composer and sound designer, had done all the composing work them so far, including the shooters Shadowgrounds and Shadowgrounds: Survivor. However, his score to Trine would need a different approach in style. The dark moods of Shadowgrounds had to be replaced by an uplifting and adventurous spirit.

The energy and light-heartedness of Pulkkinen’s compositions are evident from the very beginning and they remain a vital element of the album’s soundscape as a whole. “Astral Academy” serves as a good example of the score’s overall feel: Pizzicato strings, light percussion and woodwinds summon an enjoyable air of adventure. Combined with pleasing melodies and feel-good chord progressions reminiscent of Rennaissance chamber music, this upbeat quality dominates most of the cues. However, there are subtle variations in orchestration in accordance with the visual surroundings the player finds himself in, be it a catacomb, a dungeon or a graveyard. Pulkkinen skillfully captures the essence of each place and gives the player a captivating yet ambient score to motivate him through even the more difficult puzzles of later game levels. Consequently, the soundtrack is well crafted and serves its purpose with ease. Still, a truly enjoyable stand-alone listen has certain additional demands to be met: changes of pace, structural and melodic variety, surprising changes of feel and mood. In these aspects, Trine comes a bit short. The long running time of about seventy minutes has a hard time of keeping the listener’s attention level consistently high. Instead, listeners will probably feel forced to pick their favourite cues of Pulkinnen’s pleasing yet slightly monotone score to create a best-of playlist and enjoy selections rather than the total.

Overall, Pulkkinen has delivered another convincing effort. As background music, Trine will impress you and there are passages that certainly warrant a listen away from the keyboard. Even though the score might not be diverse enough, it gets right what it set out to do: create a fitting soundscape for an engaging and colourful puzzle solving game.